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Old 02-08-2019, 12:57 PM   #1
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Smile South Dakota to Texas Fall 2019

Hi All,

I hope this is the right place to ask for travel advice. If not I apoligize in advance. Anyway my wife and I are planning a two year trip around the US starting in July this year, as we start from Seattle were heading east through NP and monuments getting to around SD in September and then heading south to Texas. Does anyone have any recommendations of roads and or what to see while travelling in that direction. Were not on a timeline other than being in Houston area by Thanksgiving, give a week or two! Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfleetwood View Post
Hi All,

...starting in July this year, as we start from Seattle were heading east through NP and monuments getting to around SD in September and then heading south to Texas. Does anyone have any recommendations of roads and or what to see while travelling in that direction. ....
It's a goldmine through there: Yellowstone, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Devil's Tower, Deadwood, Lead gold mine, Mount Rushmore, etc.

Besides those,
Sturgis Bike Rally is first week of Aug.

The Badlands soil layer colors tend to be faint. A rain, good snowmelt, or snow blasting really brings out the colors. Worth it either way.

This place may or may not appeal to you. Very unique as MM silos were imploded according to Treaty rules. Not like Atlas sites, which were reused or sold.
https://www.nps.gov/mimi/index.htm
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:13 PM   #3
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If coming down I-35, I recommend stopping in Oklahoma City and visiting the Memorial to the OK city bombing. It's an inspiring visit. Lots of things to see and do around the DFW area, so PM me if you want more information. If you are staying on the north side of Houston, I highly recommend Rayford Crossing RV, but if you are going to be there Thanksgiving you need to make reservations early. They are completely full on Holidays.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:20 PM   #4
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If you're not on a timeline may I suggest you stay off the interstates as much as possible. You can encounter so many unexpected and interesting things and experiences that way.
With the internet you can Google the names of each town along your planned day's route and discover what each town is proud of and wants visitors to see.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:21 PM   #5
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Don't be afraid to take the secondary roads South. You will experience nice straight back roads through rural towns and almost no traffic. We like 83 or 283.
Some towns even have free camping at city parks w/elec.
https://freecampsites.net/#!(45.55814,%20-95.38085)
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:32 PM   #6
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Stay a few days in the Black Hills. Amazing sites you will see with the Hills, animals and architecture. When you leave Rapid City you can run straight South thru Hermosa and Buffalo Gap (both interesting histories) on 79/18 into Nebraska. You will see what the prairies really are as you get into Nebraska and further South. Too much to list and see, if you are interested in history of the buffalo. Traffic will not be a problem and the roads (two years ago) are nice.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:43 PM   #7
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As others have said it really depends on what you want to see and how much time you want to take. I can't help with the northern part of this route, as I don't think I have ever been to South Dakota, my experience is limited to going north and south across various parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and the southern third of Nebraska. I would tend to think of a drive from South Dakota to Houston as being something to be casually done in a week or so, not the 6 weeks you have in your schedule. Sure there is stuff you can find to fill your time along the way, stop in Kearney Nebraska and see the archway acrosss I-80 https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9790 and / or the Car Collection museum with hundreds of vintage cars all under one roof. Head on south into Kansas and see that it is not as flat as you might have expected, stop in Hutchinson where you can stay at the state fair grounds RV campground with 125 full hookup sites, you may have it almost to yourself if there are no events at the fairground that week. While in Hutchinson, go to the Cosmosphere space museum, where you can see both US and Russian Space capsules including Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule, Gemini X and an Apollo 13, as well as an SR71 blackbird, and a Gemini Titan rocket standing upright. While in Hutchinson, go across town to the Stratica salt dome museum where you can travel 650 feet down a mine shaft and see part of the labyrinth of a salt mine. From there, the possibilities really open up Wichita, is a fairly good size city of about 600,000 filled with a surprising number of museums and other attractions. Moving on south you have Oklahoma City, mentioned above is the federal building memorial and museum, I have not been there, but plan to go some day. One of my bother in laws by marriage (my sister's husband's (now ex-husband) brother) and his wife worked at the Oklahoma federal building, thankfully they were both out of town on the day of the bombing.



Population density continues to go up all along this entire route, SD has less than 1 million people, NE has about 2 million, Kansas about 3 million Oklahoma about 4 million then you hit Texas with over 28 million people, most of them in the eastern half of the state, the DFW metroplex alone has a population around 6.8 million people. So as you go south you will find more and more cultural related stops and fewer and fewer vast open spaces.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:22 PM   #8
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I was at Ellsworth AFB a few years so my siteseeing was spread out. It's been nearly 30yrs, but there used to be lots of campgrounds throughout the area. Try this site for the local area : https://www.visitrapidcity.com/plan-...rmation-center

Using Rapid City area as the center, a reasonable drive radius could keep you busy for a while.

There's so much more in the area than I can recall, but something I didn't mention earlier:
Skyline Drive in Rapid. It's on a ridgeline in town. Look West and you see the Black Hills. Look East and you see prairie past the town.

Mammoth Site in Hot Springs SD.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:50 PM   #9
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Sept and Oct are good months to be in the southern Utah national parks and Grand Canyon, AZ. September is beautiful for aspen in Colorado. You could also explore northern New Mexico. Lots of place to go. Don't rush it down to Texas. Enjoy the beauty!
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dcfleetwood View Post
Hi All,

I hope this is the right place to ask for travel advice. .......

This should work - First let me give you a big for giving yourself the time and not having a schedule, other than two years (Might need more time, but once you start who keeps track)

Anyway my wife and I are planning a two year trip around the US starting in July this year, as we

start from Seattle we're

Guessing you have already done Cascades and Olympic NP's so will not think about them Now.

heading east through NP and Monuments getting to around

Being July, My Guess is that Glacier will be the first Major stop - Guessing you will spend some time on Both the West and the East sides, as they both offer different types of Experiences. Will add that Going to the Sun Road will be Open and it along with the Lakes and Hikes will be the Highlight of the area. I'll also add that a few days should be set aside to get into the Canadian section also - This is One Beautiful area - and many if not most will pale in comparison as you move forward. A really Good Camera is Critical - there is so much to see - you just can't take it all in - sensory overload I think it's called - so take three pictures every time you think One will Do - then store and save these, as IMHO they are just as Precious as Gold.

SD in September and

Normally Yellowstone would be Next - - But I'll suggest that you head across to do North and South Dakota Now - Saving Yellowstone for a little later - As all the Parks are treasures they are all Different - going from Glacier to Teddy Roosevelt might be a let down if you are only comparing Big Rocks and the Color of the Water - BUT - this is just Different - Wild - Open - Skies and the West the way it was - Soak it in and enjoy the time to Recharge the Batteries, JMHO - then head down to the Black Hills for a Good solid week or two of exploring, Remembering that Sturgis is usually during the Beginning of August so if Motor cycles are an issue just be aware - the Black Hills are just Awesome - Custer is where I'd stay - this will allow you to take many of the Spectacular drives, not to mention see and enjoy more - Mt Rushmore - Jewel and Wind Caves - Custer State Park - Black Hills - Chief - Needles - Tunnels - ...........so much to see and do, one of my favorite places.

then heading south to Texas.

Seeing how I've moved YOUR plan around we should be Heading to Yellowstone Now - this should be around the End of August - Why you ask - well Yellowstone is Popular - No really POPULAR - so letting some of the kids get back home will help - not that it will not still be Popular but that it will be a Little Better - and IMHO September and October are the Best time to be In the Rockies and heading South. Cody - Wind River Canyon - Beartooth Highway - Chief Joseph Hwy - and then into Yellowstone - I'd Recommend the North section first as it tends to be the least crowded (JMHO) in late August early September - Just depends on where you are able to get a spot to stay as to how you will explore - there are many little secrets CG's in the Park - Search and Find as they will reward you - Then as you begin to head down through the park you will notice that Few actually do many of the Many Hikes - so if you want to get away from the crowds, just walk a few minutes and you will be all alone. Stop in and see if you can spend a night in the Yellowstone Lodge - IMHO this is one of the Memories you should enjoy.

I could go on and on but the tour is in your hands, enjoy it and again 3 images every time you think one will do.


So now we are into September - Into the Tetons - they are just Magical as is the Sky, so enjoy the Lake the Hikes - just the time in and with some pretty Beautiful Rocks. - Out through Jackson - for me just a drive through - out by alpine on to Flaming Gorge then Split Rock CG on the Green River before capturing Colorado on the way to Texas.

Does anyone have any recommendations of roads and or what to see while travelling in that
direction.

Colorado, is my special state - so I'll just say it deserves the last week of September and the Month of October - https://lynn.smugmug.com/Travel/Colo...pens/i-tsVRkXg - Aspen in Colorado are just special - they are short lived and need to be Planned around, as IMHO they are one of the Wonders of the World. (To me it is just Special) Here is a link to an older Colorado Post #9 - Western routes,trip planning help.

Were not on a timeline other than being

in Houston area by Thanksgiving,

OK - You now will have three weeks to get to Texas - I'd head over to Moab and Head out through UTAH - RT 128 - Moab - Arches - Canyonlands - State Parks - this will just be a Teaser on Utah - as we will need more time later - But it is a great time of year to see a lot of this - and plan for more later - Rt 191 south - Monument Valley - Goosenecks - Canyon de Chelly - Window Rock - Sand Dunes - Carlsbad - just so much more to touch and plan for after Thanksgiving.

give a week or two!

Thanks in advance for any input.
Good Boots - Good Layers - Good Fleece - Good Rain gear - Great Camera (IMHO it needs to be small or it will not be with you when you need it - Some still use the old 35mm type but I'm of the opinion that a really good small Travel Camera is just easy = you will have it when you need it) - and TIME - Lots of TIME.

Hope this is of some help - is likely too long but this is the trip of a Lifetime - So..........

Best of Luck,


Stan's Images will help - https://www.pbase.com/sparker1/root%26view=tree

Moab by 4runnerguy - https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...d/29448394.cfm

More to follow as you break this down into manageable pieces
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